Felipe Burtch and Shianne Etzerza - Credit: Facebook

Lake Country couple struggles to find housing

After losing their home in a fire, a couple can’t find housing that accepts pets

The Oyama couple who lost their home in a fire last week is still searching for a place to live.

Currently, Shianne Etzerza and Felipe Burtch are living at the Sandman Hotel, along with their two dogs, Bengie the shih-tzu, and Jake, a golden retriever/black lab mix.

On Nov. 30, the pair lost their home in a fire, along with their belongings. The fire was deemed accidental.

The problem is that no one accepts dogs, said Etzerza. After viewing a few places, they found out pets weren’t allowed. “They’re old so we can’t give them away. Jake is on his last legs,” she said.

The pair has until Tuesday when their accommodations run out from the Canadian Red Cross. Etzerza’s mother has also started a GoFundMe page with the goal to raise $5,000.

“She wants to be here, but she’s taking care of my grandma who is pretty ill,” said Etzerza.

They have also received overwhelming support from the community. The pair has been given clothes and even furniture. Etzerza said one woman paid for their hotel for a night.

High rental prices has also been a problem in finding a place to stay.

“We don’t really know what to do, it’s been pretty draining looking just because the prices of places are pretty high, we’re kind of feeling like we’re in limbo right now,” said Etzerza.

At the time of the fire everyone was home, including Etzerza’s stepdaughter and mother-in-law.

“Within five minutes the whole house was gone,” she said. Burtch lost his voice because of the smoke.

Little tasks still need to be taken care of, and the couple doesn’t expect to be able to return to their home for a year.

“Our main source of income was working from home so now we’re kind of hooped,” said Etzerza.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


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